Tuesday, September 5, 2000
Oak Creek Oak Creek officials looked to some very local consultants Tuesday night to help them figure out how to consolidate and reconfigure their town government.
The Hayden town manager and a state government representative met with Oak Creek Board of Trustees to discuss Oak Creek's options in regards to hiring a town manager. Although consensus on this issue has been hard to come by, officials all agreed the town needs to bring its disparate parts together.
Rob Straebel, Hayden's town manager, spoke to the board and a few scattered crowd members about his job description and his accomplishments as town manager. Straebel has obtained about $400,000 in grants for the town of Hayden, which impressed board members.
Cathy Shipley, of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, offered insight into the role of the town
The board was most interested, however, in Straebel's ability to bring three governmental departments in Hayden together under one officer. Straebel oversees the police, public works and administrative departments and reports to the Town Board about the departments.
"What I'm looking for is someone who can bring this town together as one entity as opposed to three different ones," Mayor Deb VanGundy said. The town of Oak Creek has the same three departments as Hayden.
The Oak Creek town manager would also be responsible for many of the duties of a treasurer, although the board was unsure whether they would include the title of treasurer in the job description.
Straebel explained the other aspects of his job, ranging from working with the Hayden Planning Commission to dealing with the press and helping finalize the budget.
Festus Hagins, a member of Hayden's Town Board, also attended the meeting and stressed the need for a central figure to run town affairs. He asserted the position will begin to appeal to the public relatively quickly if the manager can affect positive change.
"If the public sees progress, there's your justification for having this position," he said.
Oak Creek board members also stressed the need for an official to oversee growth. Although the town has not had much development in the recent past, board members said they expect new development to reach Oak Creek within the next few years.
Oak Creek board members are as yet unsure of how they will finance the position. They discussed what salary range they would offer the manager, generating figures that varied from $35,000 to $50,000. The Hayden position ranges from $41,500 to $48,000.
The Oak Creek board voted 4-3 in July to hire a town manager, who would also serve as the treasurer. That decision was a very controversial one, though this meeting demonstrated little of that controversy. The next public meeting to discuss the issue will be at 7 p.m.
To reach Avi Salzman call 871-4203 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org